Silent, practical and super fast. The Tesla Model Y is a dream for people who love order and hate surprises. For those who love minimalism and hate excess. Those who want to do without the baroque style, even if it forces them to admit certain material shortcomings. In 2023, the Tesla Model Y’s packaging bears no resemblance to what the car packs inside, which is more or less the most advanced software available for electric vehicles. However, on paper, this car may not look as exciting as some of its competitors. The Tesla Model Y is the SUV version of the Model 3.
Still, unlike the electric saloon, the Model Y has a five-door body, more habitability and trunk space, and a higher position behind the wheel, facilitating vehicle access. And since all cars have attributes that make them attractive or superior to other models, there are also negative aspects that make them fall short of their competition. Unfortunately, the 2023 Tesla Model Y is no exception. While it remains an attractive model in the electric SUV market, it’s no secret that competition in this sector is becoming increasingly fierce, with new models arriving with interesting proposals every year.
Updated on 28th October 2023: This list has been updated with new points; reasons for buying a Model Y and reasons you should not. With increasing competition, a secret Juniper project underway, and plenty of range promised to customers, the Model Y is at the cusp of even more success: or eventual decline.
The information in this article has been sourced from Tesla, IIHS, and other credible publications like Car and Driver, CleanTechnica, and MotorTrend amongst others.
1 Should: Teslas Are Among The Least Stolen Vehicles In The U.S.
- Teslas are among the least stolen vehicles in the United States.
- Many criminals do not steal EVs, as their parts don’t hold as high of resale value.
One reason buying a Model Y might be worth it is that Tesla remains one of the least-stolen vehicles in the United States. This is mainly because they are difficult to break into and turn out without the owner present with their smartphone/keys, as well as the cameras everyone constantly raves about on social media. A blend of that heightened awareness has led to fewer criminals targeting Teslas.
EVs, in general, often find themselves not falling victim to theft, as there isn’t much to steal beneath or inside of one. You can’t resell a battery like you can a catalytic converter, which means better safety for Tesla/electric car owners. That said, you still want to practice common sense when parking or leaving your Model Y for extended periods. There’s just a lower chance of theft happening.
2 Shouldn’t: Subjective, But The Ford Mach-E Is Better Looking
- Ford’s Mach-E SUV has become a top competitor for Model Y.
- Many drivers find that the Mach-E is sleeker and more exciting than Model Y.
Although this opinion may be contested, it’s no surprise Model Y’s biggest North American competitor is Ford’s Mach-E electric SUV model. Since its release in 2019, rising to the top of the charts shortly after, the Tesla Model Y has seen a bit of its sales chipped away by the Ford company. The Mach-E resembles a Mustang in many ways, which has long been a popular vehicle among drivers. It’s sleek, sexy, and super fast: all without feeling so out of touch as Model Y sometimes does.
Of course, Model Y is still a trailblazer in many regards, but the Mach-E is giving it a run for its money. We’d expect this model to surpass it if Tesla doesn’t do something bold with Model Y: fast. When people get bored, expect fewer car sales, Tesla.
3 Should: The Tesla Model Y Has Seen A Price Reduction
- In recent months, Tesla has slashed prices for the Model Y.
- The base, Long Range, and the Performance Model Y vehicles have been trimmed by $3,000.
One major pro of shopping for a Model Y in 2023 is that Tesla keeps dropping prices. Although the company is known to run deals throughout the calendar year, Model Y has recently seen $3,000 reductions in MSRPs across its various trim levels. For example, the Model Y base, Long Range, and Performance model are all getting a price cut. Right now, you can find them for $46,990, $49,990, and $53,990, respectively. We’d assume they’re doing this to make way for new inventory, but who knows?
4 Shouldn’t: The Model Y May Fall Behind Its Competition
- Models like the Ford Mach-E are tight competition for the Model Y.
- This vehicle may need a facelift to regain attention from electric SUV buyers.
Although Tesla Model Y will always be a pioneer for electric SUV technology, there are other brands and models coming for its throat. An example of this would be Ford’s Mach-E, which retails for $44,995 and boasts a sleeker design than Model Y. The brand based it (loosely) off the Mustang, which gives the Mach-E an eye-catching front and back design.
Another model that is cheaper than Model Y and has similar features is the Hyundai Ioniq 5, as well as the Volkswagen ID.4. Of course, these are cheaper for a reason and don’t boast the Tesla nameplate: but maybe that doesn’t matter.
5 Should: One Of The Fastest Electric SUVs
- The Model Y has some of the best acceleration in the game, with the Performance trim achieving 0-60 MPH in 3.5 seconds.
- That puts it in a super-fast category versus other electric SUV models.
Tesla is known for its electric cars’ horsepower and immediate response, which translate into impressive acceleration that sometimes matches or exceeds that of many supercars. This is mainly achieved thanks to EV electric motors immediately producing 100 percent of their torque with no hesitation, fewer moving parts getting in the way of forward momentum, and since many EVs are connected to single-speed gearboxes, gear changes won’t hinder progress.
The Tesla Model Y offers three trim levels, AWD, Long Range AWD, and Performance, all with impressive acceleration. For instance, the Performance version can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, making it one of the fastest electric SUVs in the world. On the other hand, the fastest SUV, the Faraday Future FF91, takes 2.39 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph.
6 Shouldn’t: Extended Lead Times
- One issue with the Model Y is long lead times due to shortages.
- Specific models and specs can set your delivery time back months.
Although this is not an exclusive problem for Tesla cars, as the entire automotive industry has yet to recover from supply chain shortages caused by the pandemic, the Model Y has particularly long lead times and continues to increase due to high demand in the U.S. As a result, Tesla dramatically lowered the buying price in mid-January, which sparked a tremendous wave of demand and lengthened delivery timeframes.
Although there has yet to be updated information, until February 2023, customers who chose the standard Long Range AWD variant faced delivery times between two and four months. But for instance, you could reduce the delivery window by several weeks if you opt for 20-inch wheels. On the other hand, the Performance variant had an estimated lead time of one to three months.
7 Should: Towing Capacity Is Impressive
- The Model Y has impressive towing capacity, at a max of 3,000 pounds.
- The optional tow bar may be helpful for drivers planning on using that max capacity.
Beyond its role as an efficient electric vehicle, the Model Y proves just as dependable for families in search of an adaptable SUV. This Tesla’s maximum towing capacity reaches up to 3,500 pounds, making it competitive with numerous non-electric small and midsize SUVs while outperforming other contemporary all-electric models. Furthermore, you may opt for the additional pull kit with your purchase.
In that case, the kit’s features include everything from a ready-to-go tow bar that accepts two-inch hitch receivers to responsive wiring mechanisms that harmonize effectively during both moderate and heavy-duty pulling tasks on rough terrain.
8 Shouldn’t: Dependence On The Center Screen
- Everything being managed on the touchscreen display can feel unsettling.
- Many Tesla drivers complain this minimalism is difficult to adapt to.
The commitment to extreme minimalism is evident when opening the door of a Tesla Model Y. Goodbye to almost all the buttons. Instead, everything is managed from its screen, and only a few minimal functions can be controlled from the steering wheel, going through the screen first. Adjust the depth and height of the steering wheel. Through the screen. The mirrors? Through the screen, too:
Inside a Tesla Model Y, there are no buttons; everything is born, grows, and develops from the massive 15-inch screen that dominates the cabin’s center. Light controls? Yes, you know the answer. Not only does this Tesla Model Y lack physical buttons, but it also lacks an instrument panel or projection under the Head-Up Display system. As a result, the onboard experience can be overwhelming due to the total dependence on the central screen.
9 Should: Lots Of Interior Space
- The Model Y boasts plenty of storage space, with 30.2 cubic feet of boot capacity.
- There is another 4.1 cubic feet of trunk space for groceries, etc.
One of the main advantages of electric cars is that they have more cargo space thanks to not having big gasoline engines taking up space. In the case of the Model Y, its interior is spacious and is one of the reasons why it’s so popular. It’s the most minimalist on the market, with only a large horizontal screen controlling the entire car. In addition, the rear bench can easily accommodate three tall adults.
In this sense, Tesla has greatly maximized space for passengers and their things. Despite having a relatively small footprint on the road, the Model Y is a five-seater with generous interior space. For example, it offers 30.2 cubic feet (854 liters) of boot capacity plus another 4.1 cubic feet (117 liters) in the front trunk. This capacity surpasses gas-powered crossovers like the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue.
10 Shouldn’t: Lacks The Interior Quality And Poise Of Its Competitors
- Model Y is sometimes regarded as being ‘bare bones’ in its design.
- Other cars, like the Polestar 4, Mercedes EQB, and Audi Q4 e-tron, have nicer interior features.
Despite having a minimalist and modern interior where the general sensation is of quality, the Tesla Model Y needs materials that are more pleasant to the touch. Although it doesn’t have an abundance of hard plastic, it doesn’t reach the level of refinement of its competitors. In addition, elements such as the controls on the steering wheel could also have been finished off better.
Other electric SUVs are more luxurious with better quality materials, like the Mercedes EQB, the Audi Q4 E-tron, or the Polestar 4, which is better equipped and features much more technology than the Model Y and has a lower price tag. Another compelling model among solid alternatives to the Tesla Model Y is the Genesis GV60, which features a luxurious cabin and tons of sophisticated technology and can be almost as fast as the Model Y Performance with a 0–60 time of 3.7 seconds.
11 Should: Supercharging Network Is A Big Pro
- Tesla owners have premier access to the vast collection of Supercharger stations.
- There are 40,000 Supercharger stations worldwide, and the number continues to grow.
Public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are no longer uncommon. And Tesla’s extensive charging infrastructure may be one of its best-selling points, working in favor of the Model as another reason you should buy it. Tesla’s Superchargers are highly dependable, user-friendly, and reasonably priced. The Tesla Supercharger network continues to be well regarded among rivals, with over 40,000 Supercharger stations worldwide (2,500 in North America) positioned on major roads, typically closed to amenities and open 24/7. T
Tesla also announced that it’s starting to open its Supercharger network to non-Tesla electric cars in China. Additionally, Tesla has seamlessly incorporated the Supercharging network into the in-dash infotainment system, which can help create time-saving routes and make the payment process more accessible by storing your credit card in your Tesla app. The system can also include the time spent at each station and the number of active chargers.
12 Shouldn’t: Doesn’t Score The Best In Terms Of Aesthetics
- Tesla Model Y doesn’t fare well regarding its aesthetic with some shoppers.
- Unless the SUV gets a facelift, Tesla will continue with basic features/designs for Model Y.
Since its launch in 2019, one of the things that has been most talked about in the Tesla Model Y is its exterior design, which has polarized opinions even among Tesla fans. In fact, it’s one of those silhouettes you either hate or love; there’s no middle ground. And if you were expecting a facelift for 2023, unfortunately, the exterior design of the Model Y is virtually the same. Other brands offer much more attractive looks and a completely different design approach that will appeal more than Tesla’s amorphous Model Y.
Competitors like the Q4 e-tron with its gorgeous Audi exterior look, the Polestar 4 with its modern interpretation of Scandinavian design, or even Volkswagen’s ID.4 with its basic German engineering offer a sleeker, less controversial appearance.
13 Should: One Of The Longest Ranges Of An Electric SUV
- The Model Y boasts an impressive 330 miles, but only in the Performance trim.
- Regarding its autonomy level, Model Y is one of the most impressive on the market.
Battery technology has evolved over the years, allowing, among other things, electric cars to have longer ranges, something that used to be a pain point for EVs. In the case of SUVs, the Tesla Model Y is among those that offer the most extended range and is only behind its sibling, the Tesla Model X., The basic AWD variant of the Model Y is capable of running for 279 miles on a single battery charge.
The Long Range AWD Model Y bumps it up to 330 miles. In comparison, The Volvo XC40 Recharge offers the lowest range of an electric SUV with 223 miles. The Model Y’s autonomy level places it among the electric vehicles that can travel the farthest on a full charge, where the top performer is the Lucid Air with 516 miles of range.
14 Shouldn’t: The Model Y Can Get Pricey With Options
- The Tesla Model Y is considered an expensive option for electric SUV driving.
- These can total $60,000-$70,000+ with certain trims and upgrades.
Although, in general terms, electric vehicles are more expensive than their gasoline-powered counterparts, specific models are characterized by higher prices than they can justify. This is the case with the Model Y and other Tesla prices. For instance, the 2022 Tesla Model Y only had the Performance and Long Range variants, with an MSRP of $67,440 and $71,440, respectively.
However, thanks to a new base variant with 279 miles of range introduced in 2023 and a price deduction across the range, Tesla enthusiasts can get their hands on a Model Y for $47,490 for the base trim and $54,490 for the top-spec trim. However, this is still higher than most competitors. Suppose that other alternatives offer more value for your money with things like better tech features, higher-quality materials, and more safety; in that case, the Tesla Model Y needs to catch up in the cost-benefit ratio.
15 Should: The Model Y Remains One Of The Most Efficient SUVs On The Market
- The Tesla Model has been deemed the most efficient SUV tested by the EPA.
- Even against its competition, the Model Y dramatically outperforms its electric counterparts.
Holding the title as the most efficient SUV tested by the EPA, Model Y will forever be a great choice for conscious drivers. This electric vehicle, one of the first of its kind, has always been closely tied to Model 3 (Tesla’s other staple car). It boasts plenty of reasons driving it is a reliable, sustainable option.
The Tesla Model Y AWD tops the chart with an efficiency rating of four miles per kilowatt-hour, which is rather impressive, even against EV models like the Volkswagen ID. 4’s 3.2 miles/kWh, the Ford Mustang Mach-E’s 3.1 miles/kWh, the Jaguar I-Pace’s 2.7 miles/kWh, and the Audi e-tron’s 2.6 miles/kWh. There are endless electric SUVs popping up each model year, but as of now, none truly top Tesla’s Model Y series. It’s paved the way for itself and others and will likely not be surpassed anytime soon.
16 Should: Waiting For The 2024 Version Will Pay Off
- Tesla is rumored to be transforming the Model Y for 2024.
- This likely means a new exterior and interior for Model Y drivers.
Something worth mentioning is that the Tesla Model Y is very well going to see a new design come 2024. Tesla has been teasing new features for its beloved SUV, with a new body design being a top priority. We could compare this to when Tesla revamped the Model 3, which now has a sleeker, sharper design inside and out.
As mentioned, Tesla has been shy when it comes to tweaking models, so this all-new Model Y could be exactly what you and Tesla need to keep going. It has also been speculated that the 2024 Model Y will use a 4860 battery pack, which could mean 400+ miles of range per charge.